Rovers are at risk due to severe dust storms

As a rule, the dust storm raging on Mars only in some areas of the world, and last a maximum of a few weeks. However, sometimes they cover very large areas, and last for several months. In this case, they represent a great danger to the research units are on the planet, arriving from Earth. Moreover, because of the dust they do not see the environment and can not conduct research, so also can break and for decades to stay alone.

Rovers are at risk due to severe dust storms

Right now on Mars' southern hemisphere spring, and it is possible to observe a large cloud of dust. Their study has been flying above the Red Planet apparatus "Mars Express", equipped with onboard camera HRSC (High Resolution Stereo Camera) and VMC (Visual Monitoring Camera). Thanks to them, from 22 May to 10 June 2019, the unit was able to shoot eight of dust storms that raged from one to three days in a row.

Dust storms on Mars

After studying the photos taken, researchers from the European Space Agency (ESA) have tracked their development and movement. Elysium nearby extinct volcanoes and Olympus, which reach heights of 16 to 21 thousand meters, the researchers identified the thin and light clouds. When they reached the elevations formed in orthographic Clear - a phenomenon in which the air masses slide on the mountain terrain, and form more complex shapes of clouds.

Rovers are at risk due to severe dust storms

Fortunately, such dust storm lasts only a few days, and raised from the surface of the planet dust spreads Mars atmosphere at a height of 20-40 km, and forms a fine mist. However, having even such a small storm, researchers from the European Space Agency will be able to prepare their vehicles and crew to massive storms. Otherwise, space mission, which cost billions of dollars, can be a failure.

Rovers are at risk due to severe dust storms

Photos eight dust storms on Mars

Large-scale dust storms, researchers believe, may also cause the water disappears from the surface of Mars. Of course, we should not forget that the cause of death machine "Opportunity" has also become a strong dust storm.

are reading: NASA released the latest pictures, which gave the rover "Opportunity"

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